Who we are

TCoT’s founder principals are David Patterson (UK) and Bob Little (UK).
Other members of the think tank are: An Coppens (UK/ Sweden/ Belgium), Iva Matasic (Croatia), and Graeme Coomber (UK/ Australia/ Singapore), Debbie Richards (USA)
From time to time, other online learning sector specialists are invited to join – and contribute to – TCoT.

David Patterson

Founding Principal

David Patterson has many years’ experience in the e-learning sector, and, since 2005, has been with Learning Light, a centre of excellence in the use of e-learning and learning technologies in the workplace.

David was a part-time e-learning/distance learning tutor for the University of Sheffield for four years before joining Learning Light. It was his enrolling at the University of Sheffield to study for an MSc in information systems in 2000 that sparked his interest in e-learning.

At Learning Light, he advises organizations across the UK how to succeed with e-learning and learning technologies. He has worked on developing the large library of e-learning courses, available at www.e-learningcentre.co.uk, and is expert in the evaluation and curation of e-learning content.

David regularly comments on the industry in his blog on www.e-learningcentre.co.uk and is a joint author of Learning Light’s research into the e-learning market, and the published e-learning lessons for the future: “A Global Investment Review with IBIS Capital” available at www.learninglight.com

He also provides business development advice and investment support to e-learning and learning technologies businesses in the UK.

David has maintained a close link with the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds and uses the network to continue his research interest in e-learning and information systems. Previously, he gained 20 years’ general managerial experience, including strategy and planning, sales and marketing, recruitment and training, ICT, and supporting change programmes in the food distribution industry.
His specialties are: e-learning and learning technologies: research into e-learning, e-learning for the environment, learning technologies, e-learning consultancy, e-learning design, development and deployment.

Bob Little

Founding Principal

Formerly a journalist and editor specialising in the corporate training/ learning sector, Bob Little was introduced to what became the corporate online learning technologies industry on ‘going freelance’ and establishing a business-to-business public relations consultancy, Bob Little Press & PR, in May 1990. He now works globally and his work in this field is published around the world, especially in the UK, Germany and South America.

Bob advises a number of organisations in the corporate online learning sector around the world. These have ranged from small, niche organisations to large enterprises, such as BBC Worldwide and part of the India-based Tata Group. His current clients in this sector are based in Italy, Singapore/Australia and the UK.

In July 2014, he co-authored a major report – A Review of the e-learning markets of the UK, EU and China 2014 – looking at the state of the corporate online learning industry, taking account of wider economic influences, particularly as they affect the industries that buy online learning technologies (both in terms of learning content and systems).

In 2013, his first e-book in the field of e-learning/ online learning technologies was published. Called, ‘Perspectives on Learning Technologies’ (ASIN: B00A9K1VVS) it’s available from The Endless Bookcase and from Amazon. It contains over 200 pages of observations on issues in learning technologies, principally for learning & development professionals.

Other Founding Members

An Coppens

Founding Member

An Coppens is the Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation Ltd, which offers gamification design services based and online learning programs. The company is based in London and serves Europe-based clients. Her solutions are designed to encourage winning behaviors and improve business results in the areas of sales, recruitment, learning and productivity. She is an award winning business coach, learning & development professional, author and speaker. She is a prolific blogger on gamification through www.gamificationnation.com and tweets under her Twitter alter ego, @GamificationNat. Her third book, called “Gamification in business”, is available for download from http://bookboon.com/en/gamification-in-business-ebook.

Her clients range from large multinational organizations to forward-thinking SMEs. Most projects are covered by non-disclosure agreements. They range from a learning platform for schools to internal content gamification for both forums and learning, sales gamification and recruitment.

An has spoken and held workshops at the following events in the past number of months: Gamification World Congress in Barcelona, Gamification in HR Summit in Paris and Vienna, Sales and Marketing for Pharmaceuticals in Amsterdam, ITOL Future of Work in Bucharest, Future of work in London, BrightTalk web summit, Gamification to engage app users webinar held for BrightTalk, Gamifiers Meetup and Interesting Talks Meetup.

She is the author of ‘Leading the boss in the mirror’ – a book which teaches people practical ways to reduce their stress levels. It’s the culmination of her work with high achievers in her coaching practice. Her second book, “Attracting IT graduates to your business”, was written for Impackt Publishing and aims to help organizations with small HR teams to be creative in their graduate attraction strategies (it includes a chapter on gamification as one option).

She was a guest expert contributor on the RTE (Irish television) show ‘How long will you live?’ since its pilot series and has continued to contribute throughout all following series. Her clients nominated her for the European Coaching Achievement Award and proved to the European Coaching Institute that they had achieved lasting benefits from working with An as their coach.

In her career to date, An has worked in learning and development and change management roles for Modern Times Group, Xigma Management Consultants, Philips Electronics and Arthur Andersen Business Consulting. For ten years, An ran a successful business coaching practice in Cork, Ireland with B/Right Business Coaching. She holds a BA (Hon) in International Marketing and languages from Dublin City University and an MBA from the Open University Business School in the UK. She holds a gamification master qualification from the Engagement Alliance and has completed a number of online gamification courses. In 2015 she was listed as number six on the Gamification Gurus leader board globally: https://www.leaderboarded.com/gurus

Iva Matasic

Founding Member

Iva Matasic is the founder and Chief Executive Officer at Consulio, Inc., Zagreb and Palo Alto, California. She is an expert in e-learning and a networker with clients and colleagues worldwide.

Iva is a proactive, innovative and service-oriented e-learning professional with extensive e-learning and m-learning development expertise, outstanding communication skills and a proven track record designing and delivering e-learning / m-learning projects to manage change and improve performance in respected organizations.

She implements e-learning and connects e-learning implementation and project management.

Iva is a graduate of the Founder Institute and author and co-author of publications presented at numerous conferences. Her expertise includes entrepreneurship, e-learning consulting and training (a focus on innovation in e-learning, personalized learning and big data analytics), future learning, loyalty marketing and motivational speaking.

Graeme Coomber

Founding Member

With over 25 years’ experience in international management, marketing, business development and innovation, Graeme Coomber has extensive knowledge of company start-ups, international markets and trade, as well as technology, commercial development, education and finance.
Graeme’s career began in Western Australia in 1984, working for many government institutions as an IT professional until 1989, when he moved to the UK and pursued independent IT consultancy for companies including Xerox, Prudential, and Sainsbury’s.

In 1992, he completed an MBA in Telecommunications Management at the University of San Francisco and relocated to Singapore where he became General Manager for an electronics media company, targeting SE Asian markets and servicing clients such as RTM Malaysia, MTV, HBO and Binariang Satellite Systems.

He also co-founded one of the first start-up companies under the Malaysian MSC banner and took part in Prime Minister Mahathir’s promotional tour of the USA in 1997.
It was then that he relocated to Silicon Valley to take on the role of Director of E-Commerce and Business Development at iPIN (now Aepona), a micro-payment system developed for the Internet and mobile devices. The 2000s saw him join the Kelvin Institute, as Director of Innovation Development, to foster innovation and knowledge-based industries in Scotland.
His recent role with Stanford Research International, USA, as Head of Innovation Business Development has allowed him to develop partnerships with the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education and bring about innovation best-practice knowledge to the public Universities of Malaysia.